New guidelines: Introduce peanuts to infants early to prevent allergies

By Rob Goodier (Reuters Health) – Parents may be able to reduce the chance that their children will develop peanut allergies by introducing the food early on, as young as four to six months of age, experts now say. The timing and method should depend on the infant’s risk of a peanut allergy, according to doctors who presented a preview of updated guidelines today in San Francisco at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. “Guidance regarding when to introduce peanut into the diet of an infant is changing, based on new research that shows that early introduction around 4-6 months of life, after a few other foods have been introduced into the infant’s diet, is associated with a significantly reduced risk of such infants developing peanut allergy,” said Dr. Matthew Greenhawt, a pediatrician and co-director of the Food Challenge and Research Unit at Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, Colorado, who coauthored the update.

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